1. Gervais worked initially in the music industry, attempting a career as a pop star in the 1980s with Seona Dancing and working as the manager of a then-unknown Suede before turning to comedy.
2. In 2000, he was given a Channel 4 talk show, Meet Ricky Gervais, and then achieved greater mainstream fame a year later with his BBC television series The Office.
3. In addition to writing and directing the shows, he played the lead roles of David Brent in The Office and Andy Millman in Extras.
4. He has also starred in the Hollywood films Ghost Town, and Muppets Most Wanted, and wrote and directed The Invention of Lying.
5. He has performed on four stand-up comedy tours, written the Flanimals book series and starred with Merchant and Karl Pilkington in the podcast The Ricky Gervais Show.
6. Gervais has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, two Emmy Awards and the 2006 Rose d’Or, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.
7. In 2007 he was voted the 11th greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups
8. Gervais, along with siblings Larry (born 1945), Marsha (born 1948), and Bob (born 1950), was born and raised in Whitley, Berkshire.
9. His father, Lawrence Raymond “Jerry” Gervais (1919 2002), a Franco-Ontarian from London, Ontario, Canada, emigrated while on foreign duty during the Second World War and worked as a labourer and hod carrier. who was English, during a blackout; they settled in Whitley.
10. In 1983, during his final year as a student at UCL (University College London), Gervais and college friend Bill Macrae formed the new wave pop duo, Seona Dancing.
11. They were signed by London Records, which released two of their singles “More to Lose” and “Bitter Heart”.
12. Despite not being successful in the UK, Seona Dancing did manage to score a hit in the Philippines with “More to Lose”.
13. In 2013, Gervais performed a live tour as David Brent along with a band under the name “Foregone Conclusion”.
14. Gervais and the band performed songs written under the Brent character including songs such as “Equality Street” and “Free Love Freeway”.
15. Gervais later worked as an assistant events manager for the University of London Union (ULU), then moved from ULU to a job as head of speech at the alternative radio station Xfm. Needing an assistant, Gervais interviewed the first person whose curriculum vitae he saw.